Jeff Prestridge  

No more fears of an onerous tax regime

Jeff Prestridge

Jeff Prestridge

Well, knock me down with a personal finance feather.

In my heart of hearts, I never thought we would be where we are today – going into the new year with Boris Johnson heading a Conservative government with an 80-seat majority, Labour in rebuild mould and the Liberal Democrats leaderless and in proverbial pieces.

Am I dreaming? Have I had too much of the mulled wine those kind people at Whole Foods Market keep plying me with every time I go in there to buy the odd tomato and packet of mushrooms? Help me please.

On election night, I truly thought we were heading for yet another minority government and yet more prevarication over Brexit.

In fact, to put my mind off matters of importance (and to relax me ahead of a journalistic slog the next day, writing about the election outcome), I decided to pop along to Bush House in London to listen to a reading of James Graham’s election night play The Vote.

It was a barrel of laughs, helped by a stellar cast – Simon Russell Beale, Mark Gatiss and Catherine Tate. Just what I needed.

Although The Vote was primarily about voting fraud and the cack-handed way polling officials attempt to cover it up, there is nothing fraudulent about the Conservative party’s emphatic victory at the polls.

The people, especially those in the midlands and the north, have spoken.

They want Brexit done and a government in place that will invest in the economy and make the country a world powerhouse once again.

So far, Mr Johnson has said and done all the right things, acknowledging the role of the ‘pragmatic’ working classes in his party’s triumph – and travelling north to Tony Blair’s old constituency of Sedgefield in County Durham to thank some of them.

The Queen’s Speech will get Mr Johnson’s plans rolling down the alleyway, with spending commitments made to the National Health Service that are enshrined in law, and major investment in infrastructure projects based in the north.

A Budget in the new year (probably February) will flesh out any plans that impact on the personal finance world that we (you the reader and me the writer) make our living from.

There is no doubt the Conservative government we now have will be kinder to those wishing to build personal wealth than a Jeremy Corbyn-led administration would ever have been.

Although Labour’s confused stance on Brexit was probably the main reason behind its downfall, its proposed assault on personal wealth reinforced the suspicion it was the party of envy rather than reward.

Thankfully we no longer have to worry about frightening tax rate hikes on capital gains and dividend income – together with cuts in annual tax-free allowances – that would have done serious damage to people’s propensity to invest in the stock market.